The Green Bay Packers (5-4) are struggling lately and reportedly, so too is tight end Jermichael Finley. He suffered a neck injury against the Cleveland Browns in Week 7 which will require surgery and it’s time for the offensive dynamo to think about life after football.
The Packers placed Finley on the season-ending injured reserve (IR) list last week, two weeks after Finley was carted off of the field at Lambeau Field. Earlier this season, Finley suffered a concussion in a loss against the Cincinnati Bengals. After the concussion, Finley’s five-year-old son begged his dad to quit playing football and in hindsight, Finley should’ve listened.
Finley’s son may get his wish if former Packers’ tight end Mark Chmura‘s comments earlier this week prove to be true. Chmura said earlier this week on 540 ESPN Milwaukee that he would “bet his bottom dollar” that Finley’s career is over with neck surgery coming up in the near future. If he is correct, Finley would be forced to retire from the NFL.
Packers safety Nick Collins suffered a career-ending neck injury in a week two win over the Carolina Panthers in 2011 which required neck fusion surgery between the C3 and C4 vertebrae, which is exactly where Finley will have surgery done in his neck.
Finley has been undoubtedly been one of the most frustrating players for Packer fans to watch because he had never been able to fully live up to his potential. Frustration aside, though, no fan can deny the kind of talent the athletic, strong and versatile tight end brought to the Packers.
Personally, I’ve always had faith in Finley because he is presents such a mismatch along the perimeter on offense against opposing defensive backs. Besides quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Finley was possibly the most important player on the Packers’ offense because he opened up so much for his teammates while showing great strides of improvement.
Finley has been tweeting recently about a potential comeback, using the “#Road2Recovery” at the end of many of his personal tweets. For his own personal sake, though, Finley should close the door on a possible comeback. With the Packers placing Finley on the IR with what is an extremely severe and significant injury, his days in Green Bay are likely over and so should his days in the NFL.
To Jermichael Finley: listen to your son and listen to your family; don’t risk your life. Even though it’s your passion, at the end of the day, it’s just a game.